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Kagame’s inauguration excites, attracts 20 heads of state

President Paul Kagame with other Heads of State during his inauguration on Aug 18.

Away from the candidates, Kagame acknowledged the leaders and members of the eight political parties that joined RPF to nominate him as their candidate.

He said that RPF had collaborated with these leaders for 23 years with deep mutual respect to repair the social fabric of our devastated nation.

Kagame’s swearing in ceremony was presided over by Rwanda’s Chief Justice Sam Rugege. The ceremony marked the beginning of the incumbent’s 7-year term in which Kagame is expected to further industrialise Rwanda.

“You are going to see a major drive aimed at industrializing Rwanda in these coming years,” said an insider when asked what the president was likely to focus on in his new term.

The country’s Vision 2020 targets industrial contribution to GDP of 26% by 2020. And under Kagame’s leadership Rwanda has already made major strides in positioning as Africa’s hub for technology, pharmaceutical research and conference tourism.

The Rwandan business environment has already created startups including mobile technologies company Hehe Ltd.

Initiatives like YouthConnekt, connect young people to role models and resources to realize their dreams. It is these initiatives among others that have attracted international billionaires like China’s Jack Ma to Rwanda.

When he visited East Africa last year, the billionare who was accompanied by 38 other billionares only decided to visit Rwanda and Kenya. Ma’s visit was seen as a major vote of confidence in the innovation and business environment of a country where it now takes only six hours to register a business.

Over all, Kagame is praised for transforming the country’s economy. By creating a good business environment, Kagame’s leadership has enabled the small country of 12 million people grow Foreign direct investment to as high as $323 million in 2015, up from $40 million in 2005, according to the World Bank.

Amidst all this, Kagame has had to deal with all manner of criticism especially from the international community.

At the inauguration, he appeared defiant and pledged to forge ahead. Every attempt that was made from within and especially from outside to denigrate the process and glorify the old politics of division, he said, only made Rwandans more defiant and more determined to express ourselves through the vote.

“Our experience is that we will be vilified anyway no matter what, Kagame said, “So we might as well do what we know is right for our people.”

President Paul Kagame with his family at his inauguration.

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